Shake, Rattle & Roll: Earthquake Safety Tips

An early morning earthquake rocked the Los Angeles basin on Monday, unsettling nerves and shaking buildings across a 150-mile swath of Southern California.   These news anchors were caught on air as the quake rattled the L.A. area:

According to government officials, the 4.4-magnitude earthquake, centered 2 miles from Encino, was a “typical” SoCal earthquake and caused no major damage.

Still, the quake serves as a reminder to brush up on what to do to help ensure your personal safety!



After all, according to, earthquakes:
• Can occur in all 50 states and the 5 U.S. territories.
• Can take place any time of year.
• Are impossible to predict.

During an Earthquake
In an earthquake, you’ll need to act immediately to help ensure safety. According to

San Jośe Library after the 2007 earthquake Credit: San Jośe Library via Flickr.

San Jośe Library after the 2007 earthquake Credit: San Jośe Library via Flickr.

If you are INDOORS

  • DROP to the floor and take COVER by getting under a sturdy table or other piece of furniture; and HOLD ON until the shaking stops. If there isn’t a table or desk nearby, cover your face and head with your arms and crouch in an inside corner of the building.
  • Stay away from glass, windows, outside doors and walls, and anything that could fall, such as lighting fixtures or furniture.
  • Stay in bed if you are there when the earthquake strikes. Hold on and protect your head with a pillow, unless you are under a heavy light fixture that could fall. In that case, move to the nearest safe place.
  • Stay inside until the shaking stops and it is safe to go outside.
  • Do not exit a building during the shaking. Research has shown that most injuries occur when people inside buildings attempt to move to a different location inside the building or try to leave.

Contrary to popular belief, doorways don’t always offer the best protection. According to the American Red Cross, doorways are no stronger than any other part of a structure so don’t rely on them for protection!

Earthquake damage Credit: Pedro Villavicencio via Flickr.

Earthquake damage Credit: Pedro Villavicencio via Flickr.


  • Stay there.
  • Move away from buildings, streetlights, and utility wires.
  • Once in the open, stay there until the shaking stops. The greatest danger exists directly outside buildings, at exits and alongside exterior walls.
  • Ground movement during an earthquake is seldom the direct cause of death or injury. Most earthquake-related casualties result from collapsing walls, flying glass, and falling objects.
Credit: Mike-Campbell via Flickr

Credit: Mike-Campbell via Flickr


  • Stop as quickly as safety permits and stay in the vehicle. Avoid stopping near or under buildings, trees, overpasses, and utility wires.
  • Proceed cautiously once the earthquake has stopped. Avoid roads, bridges, or ramps that might have been damaged by the earthquake.

Stay Safe and Know Before™

-The WeatherBug Team



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